The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace.
In this four-part series, we ask: Which innovations in sanitation should food manufacturers be aware of and how do they aid in regulatory compliance, as well as boosting consumer confidence?
As product safety remains a paramount concern for food processors, many teams are exploring new ways to refine sanitation programs to further reduce contamination risks and comply with regulatory standards. These refinements have included using antimicrobial intervention solutions to eliminate surface contaminants before products are packaged. While such intervention solutions can be an effective sanitation component, they alone are not a food safety silver bullet.
More processors now realize that the most innovative approach to enhancing their sanitation programs and protecting their products, brand image and bottom line is not a single technology, but rather a philosophical shift. Previously, processors may have only viewed sanitation partners as a source for cleaning products and machinery. Today, sanitation partners not only offer these tools, but also complete consultation services to help processors meet their food safety objectives. Partner feedback can close significant contamination prevention gaps, including ensuring proper concentration levels for solutions respective to each work station, providing recommendations to automate cleaning where possible and assisting with educating and training employees on new protocols. With safety regulations changing frequently, trusted sanitation partners can also help processors understand how updates will impact processors’ businesses and the best ways to adjust workflow to ensure compliance.
Food safety programs are only as effective as the insight processors have around complete sanitation operations performance. Partners that serve as total solutions consultants, and not just suppliers, can provide vital perspective that when combined with technological advancements (such as antimicrobial intervention solutions) brings processors closer to the food safety silver bullet. The processors who best leverage these relationships can not only gain confidence in their operations’ efficiency, but also peace of mind that distributed products are as safe as possible when they reach retail customers’ shelves.
Brad Polen, Sector Manager, Processed Foods, Sealed Air's Food Care Division